The Goodness of Stitches

lovelystitches

I do believe, I might be content to just make stitches. Random stitches, crocheted or knitted, or embroidered. Any kind. Any way. With any fiber.

I love making them. I love looking at them. Garter stitch. Stockinette. Cables. Singles. Doubles. Triples. V-stitch. Shell stitch. Bullions. Clusters. Yarn overs. On and on…stitches are a delight.

But when I translate that to life, the minute, small, insignificant stitches of everyday living, I don’t know that I appreciate them as much. Knitting and crocheting reminds me to revel in the ordinary stitches of living just as I do in stitching with yarn.

sockstart

If, in addition to ‘just making stitches’, I can work them into something, anything…well, that’s even more fun. Shawls. Socks. Sweaters. Washcloths. Booties. Hats. Wraps. Vests. Bowls. Baskets. It seems a little silly to be so fond of making things with just stitches.

But when they can be wrangled into a picture, an image, a something to hang on the wall or sew into a pillow, well, that’s just the cherry on top! Icing on the cake. I recently made six little freeform crochet “paintings” and was reminded how good and wonderful stitches are.

In life, the key is to trust that all the stitches are adding up to something! I may not be able to see what it is in the moment, nor in a month or year from now, but I can be confident that the slow everyday making of stitches will produce something worthwhile. Perhaps my life will be a basket to hold beautiful things. Maybe it will be a shawl to comfort others. I’m hoping it will be a lovely picture of the grace of God.

sunrisescapefp

I’m not sure that anyone else, other than fiber folk, can understand this love for stitches. Stitches are comforting, rhythmic, soothing, soft. They are also bold, daring, confident and reassuring. How does all this get into stitches you say? Well…you just have to try it. And for those of you who know what I mean, here’s to a day full of stitch making! Or even a few minutes of your day!

May the goodness of stitches carry you through your day!

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Hard & Soft

Hard&Soft

It’s all here in my lap. A picture of life. A metaphor for living in this world. Of how it all works. Of what is needed to knit a life.

You need hard AND soft. Hook and yarn. Needles and fiber.

In early adult years I have lived hard – highly disciplined, rigid, independent, aloof, unbending. In my middle years I’ve grown soft – less confident, more scattered, empathic, slower, more prone to watery eyes.

I describe these two as polar opposites and as if they are both negative in certain ways. They certainly can be if not held together with its seemingly opposite twin. What I’m realizing is that both hard and soft are necessary for knitting a beautiful life. One needs to be firm and focused on the present moment with a razor sharp determination to plow through. While also being open-hearted, receptive, pliable and bendable. Watching what happens as I knit or crochet teaches me the delicate and intricate dance between hard and soft. The end result is one of beauty.

Hardness in one’s life doesn’t have to be rigid and unbending even though knitting needles and crochet hooks are. There is goodness in determination, in holding to truth in the uncertainty of life, in an ability to tilt up or down, lift or loop, drop, transfer, pick up and above all, an ability to stay strong while wrapped in numerous kinds of fibers situations.

Being soft doesn’t have to mean limp, loose, or lazy in life. It means being pliable, bendable, loopy, willing to drape, curl, cross-over and be bound off and together with others. Being soft also means there are times when you feel fuzzy and frayed, slick and shiny, bumpy and lumpy, just like the various fibers we love.

  Wisdom is required to understand when to be firm and when to be fluid. How to be focused while also open. How to lovingly hold our ground and maintain boundaries. And how to be unswerving and unbending in our desire to love and be kind to others.

Hard and soft, held together, working together, dancing together in this knitted life.

I’m still learning.